Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid otherwise known as Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon is a slice-of-life, comedy, fantasy series. The first season originally aired in the winter season of 2017 while the second season is currently on-going as of summer 2021. The series kicks off with our main protagonist Kobayashi being plastered after having one too many drinks. Hung over and groggy she wakes up the next day only to find a maid, a dragon maid no less, swearing loyalty and devotion to her new master! It is an amusing start and perhaps one you could relate to if you ever had some wild nights out. This unreal and comical premise really sets the tone for the rest of the series.
The series basically begins the night after as we are introduced to one of the main characters Tohru; an energetic dragon girl who has the decided to take the role of maid. Overzealous by nature she also has the worst combination of being arrogant, clueless and clumsy when coming to the human world. This mix of traits provides a constant source of amusement or in the case of Kobayashi grief. On top of this Tohru shows a bizarre display of love that is difficult to understand. It all leaves you wondering; what exactly did Kobayashi do that night?
Before we get a chance to catch our breath however, we are soon introduced to more friends of Tohru from the dragon world. Like Tohru, they are all overconfident but equally clueless about the ways of the human world. Their bad advice all lead Tohru into making numerous misunderstandings and problems for Kobayashi. It is not long after this when we are actually introduced to these characters in the flesh.
Her friends, like Tohru have a superiority complex that dragons are better than humans but beyond the complex they are really just a bunch of social misfits. They all struggle to grasp human cultural norms with even the simplest social conventions being misunderstood in comical ways. It is ironic that the most well-adjusted dragon happens to be the youngest loli dragon Kanna Kamui. Each dragon, due to their unique personality traits and motivations are all funny and memorable in their own separate ways.
This range of unique personalities means that each cast member are able, at various points of the series, to carry the show. It is this strength in depth that results in Kobayashi Dragon Maid being capable of keeping things fresh and amusing as no joke or gag is ever repeated endlessly. The only possible hitch I could see would come from Quetzalcoatl who people may take offense due to her over reliance on her womanly charms. I personally thought this was okay but the fact she spends a considerable amount of time with her master Shouta, who is a young boy, could make certain people squeamish.
If you can get beyond that gripe however you will enjoy the comedy and humour which is on offer here. It is the main strength and primary reason you should watch Kobayashi. Saying that there are other positives that extend beyond the jokes if you are so inclined anyway. The series is not afraid to show fanservice and there are moments littered throughout to please the ecchi crowd. It is done in a balanced manner though so it should never get too grating for people not into that thing. More significantly however is the kawaii factor which comes from Kanna who is the loli of the series. She is often supported by her close friend Rika Saikawa who has a mad love for Kanna that almost rivals that of Tohru towards Kobayashi.
This being a slice-of-life series the plot in this is rather sparse although the details of that drunken night at the start are clarified as we learn the truth of what happened. The series also devotes time to Tohru’s backstory so we come to understand why she did the things she did at the beginning. Some minor drama is inserted right at the end to stir the pot and this leads to a climatic event. Ultimately though you are watching Kobayashi Dragon Maid for its characters and jokes but not the plot.
In terms of animation the show maintains a solid standard throughout. There were no notable declines even at the end and the animation standard is maintained in the OVA special. The opening song Rhapsody of the Blue Skyby by Fhána and ending track Ishukan Communication by Choro-gonzu are both great and do a good job in conveying the overall comedy and light hearted nature of the show. The opening song certainly gets you in the mood into watching the rest of the episode.
Overall Kobayashi Dragon Maid is a solid Anime
series which managed to consistently deliver funny jokes throughout the show. All the characters from major to secondary are memorable in their own ways and the quirks they display add a variety to the show that prevented any joke from becoming too repetitive. This is made all the more remarkable due to the fact this show does apply the standard trope of episodes that is so typical in slice-of-life series. The episodic nature of Kobayashi also means it is something that can be watched in a casual fashion with no deep thinking required. Perfect to watch after a long day or a few beers. Just don’t make the same mistake as Kobayashi and have too many beers otherwise you may have your own dragon maid lurking in your apartment!
Story 6 –
Tricky to give a scoring for a slice-of-life series. Kobayashi Dragon Maid is primarily a slice-of-life story so no real plot development to be had although an explanation is providing for the opening act.
Characters 8 –
Strong depth of characters; there will be something for everyone. They are all unique with different personality traits and motivations. Only possible bone of contention would come from Quetzalcoatl.
Animation 8 –
Solid animation which was supported with great OP/ED tracks. There were a few corners cut for extras and other minor scenes but nothing that was too in your face.
Overall 7 –
A very solid show that most people would enjoy. Nothing truly ground breaking to see here but if you are after something light-hearted this would fit the bill. It is also a good series to jump into if you just watched something heavy or need to unwind. Hopefully season two will match the quality of this series.